Home Affairs must answer on Guptas' naturalisation

2017-06-20 17:27
Businessmen Ajay and Atul Gupta speak to the City Press from the New Age Newspaper's offices in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. (Muntu Vilakazi, Gallo Images, City Press)

Businessmen Ajay and Atul Gupta speak to the City Press from the New Age Newspaper's offices in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. (Muntu Vilakazi, Gallo Images, City Press)

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Cape Town - Democratic Alliance MP Haniff Hoosen pleaded with the chairperson of the portfolio committee on home affairs, Lemias Mashile, not to use the sub judice rule not to investigate the Gupta family's naturalisation.

This came after director general of home affairs Mkuseli Apleni failed to attend the committee's meeting on Tuesday morning to explain the controversial Guptas' naturalisation, as he was attending a meeting of the National Council of Provinces.

The committee, across party lines, insisted that finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who allowed the naturalisation when he was still minister of home affairs, his successor at home affairs Hlengiwe Mkhize and Apleni be "summoned" to the committee to explain the ordeal.

"They must be here, they don't have a choice," said Economic Freedom Fighters MP Hlengiwe Hlophe, whose party made the matter public last week in the wake of the so-called Gupta leaks.

"We don't invite them, we summon them. It must be clear. Put it in bold letters," said African National Congress MP Maesela Kekana.


Court review

Hoosen said the department must also include the motivations Gigaba had to consider when he granted them citizenship.

Mashile said the committee will ask for all the relevant documentation. He expressed his concern about how much the committee could investigate, given that EFF indicated that they will ask the court to review Gigaba's decision.

Hoosen was concerned that Mashile's reservations were an "attempt to deliberately stop this thing.

"I appeal to you to please not find ways for this thing not to happen," Hoosen said to Mashile.

"I have a responsibility to lead," retorted Mashile. "I'm not going to allow you to push me into a hole with my eyes open. I've got responsibilities as chairperson."

He said Apleni should provide the hard facts, after which the committee would decide on a way forward.

Parliament's legal services advocate Anthea Gordon said the sub judice rule does not prevent a matter before the courts from being discussed, but Parliament's own rule on sub judice could complicate matters.

She said she would first like to see the EFF's notice of motion before delivering an opinion.

Freedom Front Plus MP Corné Mulder pointed out that a parliamentary rule could not supersede the Constitution.

The committee will receive a further legal opinion and meet next week Tuesday, June 27, when they will hear from Apleni and receive the documents unless the legal opinion says otherwise.

Read more on:    parliament  |  anc  |  eff  |  ffplus  |  da  |  malusi gigaba  |  gupta familly  |  cape town  |  state capture  |  gupta emails  |  gupta leaks

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